Steve Waugh was a right-handed batsman; he was also a medium-pace bowler. As Australian captain from 1997 to 2004, he led Australia to fifteen of their record sixteen consecutive Test wins, and to victory in the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Waugh is considered the most successful Test captain in cricket history, with 41 matches won and only 9 matches lost with a winning ratio of 72%. He was named Australian of the Year in 2004 for his philanthropic work and inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in front of his home fans at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2010. In addition to this, Steve has been able to assist in mentoring the Australian Olympic Team, with Football Australia and with the Cricket Australia Test Team.
Steve Waugh is not only recognized in the cricket world, but also across sports and by athletes throughout the world at the highest levels; he is only one of three Australians to have been invited to join the prestigious Laureus World Sports Academy and only the 4th cricketer to be so honoured.
For the young hopefuls of tomorrow and the veterans of yesterday, Steve Waugh will forever be a sporting legend. But the former Australian Test captain says he stopped being a cricketer the moment he hung up his baggy green.
Speaking about his philanthropy, Steve says meeting Mother Teresa was the inspiration and catalyst to devote his life to charity. For years during Australian tours he felt overwhelmed and helpless. The opportunity, however, to meet with noted humanitarian Mother Teresa added a fresh perspective. Here was a tiny, frail lady, bent over with arthritis, slowly shuffling around, oblivious to her own ills and championing the welfare of others. "There was a calming aura about her," Waugh said. "When you were in her presence you definitely felt more serene and peaceful.
Of all the celebrity encounters he had enjoyed, from the Queen to Nelson Mandela and Sir Elton John, this was by far the most important and powerful. Just as thousands of others had gained strength from shaking Mother Teresa's hand and receiving her saintly blessings, so did Waugh. Now, in places like India where cricketers are feted like movie stars, Waugh has a godlike status and not only for his deeds with cricket's world champions.
Steve Waugh is not only an extraordinary cricketer, but also a sensitive and warm human being with a hand that reaches out to the needy. The other side of Steve Waugh is as fascinating as his cricketing achievements.
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